A quick summary....

Throughout its history, CDU has educated thousands of students worldwide who wish to deepen their faith through programs that provide the academic and spiritual growth students seek with the flexibility and convenience they need. Our students include working adults, professionals, parents, military personnel, clergy, deacons, and those in religious life. Most wish to grow in their faith or acquire credentials for Church work or ministry. CDU graduates touch the lives of many as they use their knowledge to help form others in the Faith and educate the next generation of missionary disciples.


  • Faithful to the teachings of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church
  • Nationally accredited
  • Fully online
  • Staffed by supportive individuals
  • Proud of its Catholic professors and course authors, who are highly recognized in their areas of religious study
  • Cost effective with reasonable tuition and fees

“The 35th anniversary of Catholic Distance University is a milestone to celebrate. The University’s pursuit of excellence and the search for truth coupled with a pioneer spirit in the world of distance learning make this educational community a model. Mindful of the confusion in today’s society, I give thanks for this instrument enabled to deepen knowledge of the Catholic Faith in order to promote the New Evangelization.”–Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA; Chancellor of CDU

Master’s Program

“After talking with friends who have pursued other online programs, I am especially grateful for the format of the CDU course rooms. The sharing that takes place among students truly adds a dimension that allows for serious academic discussion, encouragement among peers, and a wonderful sense of community.”

–Mary McKay, MA (Theology)

“It has been a long road and I’m grateful for the unfailing support and encouragement from the faculty and staff at CDU. I will include Catholic Distance University on my curriculum vitae with pride, as I believe the education I’ve received has been exemplary; it is also invaluable to the work that I do in psychotherapy and natural family planning.”

–Anne Marie Posella, MA (Theology)

“CDU’s students, faculty, and staff live the school motto, Joy from the Truth. It comes across everywhere, from the casual conversations in the Café to the dedicated discussions in campus classrooms. Anyone who has this joy or wants to discover it more fully should seriously consider enrolling in a CDU course or program. It’s challenging but rewarding.”

Virginia Marie Taylor, MA (Theology)

“Being a CDU student not only prepared me to be a better Catholic man, but also a better Army officer. I can now make decisions that are informed by my faith and the teachings of the Church.”

Col. John Ciesla (Ret.), MA (Theology)

“I was already a faithful Catholic that loved Christ and his Church; I am now, however, more rooted in that faith. I knew what I believed was true, but now I know why it is so. I have answers to so many questions, and [CDU] has only deepened my faith and pulled me closer toward God – Father, Son, and Spirit.”

Michelle Sheehan Tholen, MA (Theology)

“Knowing what I believe and what the basis of those teachings and beliefs is has helped me immensely. I work full time and absolutely needed the asynchronous format where I could work on the courses when I had time during the day, weeks or months, etc. I could not fit a traditional face-to-face course format into my schedule.”

Dr. Angelo Giardino, MA (Theology)

“For years I have considered seeking a theology degree but thought it too expensive and hard to manage with a family. I have just submitted my application at CDU and am taking a baby step towards a longtime desire of mine–to be immersed in knowledge of the Church.”

Rebecca Vinduska, MA (Theology)

“I am forever grateful to CDU for offering the gift of continuing my education in a format that allows me to fully participate in my ordinary life of work, home and play. This experience has been filled with joy, anxiety, anticipation, all and everything that is good. Thank you so very much for sharing God’s light with me.”
–Clarissa Jayne Hutcheson, MA (Theology)


Bachelor’s Program

“Catholic Distance University did not just prepare me for my job but gave me an opportunity to grow in my Faith with a wonderful community of classmates and professors. I am so grateful for my time at CDU and cannot wait to share what I have learned with my family, Parish community, and all those I encounter in my lifetime.”

Katlyn Lawler, BA in Theology

“I was looking for an opportunity to complete my Theology degree while working as a full-time missionary in India and China. CDU was an absolute blessing from the Lord. Not only was I able to finish my degree with the flexible schedule that I needed, but my faith was also deeply enriched by my experience with CDU.”

Daniel Paul Nurse, BA in Theology

“I’m enjoying the approach taken in this course more than in any other math course I’ve taken. There’s a creativity to the presentation both in the discussions but also, surprisingly, in the textbook that has me engaged beyond just learning the “rules” and reapplying them to new problems. In short, it’s making me think and not just memorize. That’s a plus for someone who doesn’t normally enjoy math.”

Nicholas Labrie, BA in Theology

“I chose CDU due to the recommendations of others as well as its self-affirmations of faithfulness to the magisterium of the Church. Moreover, the price-per-credit rate was actually superior to the average online degree-granting institution.”

Theodore S. Trinko, BA in Theology

“CDU allowed me the opportunity to grow deeper in my faith and love of Christ. I wish to become a theological writer and continue to work in music and youth ministry with the knowledge I have gained.”

Todd Christopher Mesler, Jr., BA in Theology

“I enjoyed THEO 304 Foundations of Catholicism so much. As a first time online student, it was a positive experience. Honestly I was a bit hesitant and cautious because I had no previous experience navigating the windows, but the website is student friendly. Professor Padgett, you made the course so enjoyable, and your enthusiasm about our Catholic religion was a great instrument for me to be more excited about our Faith and the Church and growing closer to Jesus. I thank you very much from the bottom of my heart. It is obvious how much you enjoy teaching the course.”

Amelia Kyker, BA in Theology

“My education at CDU was time well spent. My knowledge and understanding of the Church has increased exponentially, my family is proud of what I’ve accomplished, and my Faith continues to deepen. I am so glad I answered God’s call.”

Toni Marie Brady, BA in Theology

“[Coming to CDU] was a great decision. I had all of these college credits and no degree, and the BA in Theology was the answer I was searching for. And for the first time in my life my education was now something I could be passionate about.”

Adam Beerling, BA in Theology

“The flexibility and convenience of being able to log in at any time from any place was by far what I liked best about CDU. I also love the fact that I did not have to worry about being taught anything that was not in line with the teachings of the Magisterium and Catholic Doctrine…This degree has been helping me personally as ongoing faith formation. Professionally it is placing me one step closer toward my goal of teaching religion at a Catholic High School.”

Elizabeth Carrillo, BA in Theology

“It was important for me to pursue a degree as a way to learn more about the Catholic faith and to grow in my relationship with God. The Bachelor completion program offered a systematic way of learning the faith while completing my Bachelor’s degree, something I’ve wanted to finish for many years.”
Dawn Louise Johnson, BA in Theology

“Thank you so much for making the BA in Theology available online. I never would have completed this except in a distance program, and you made that possible!”
Matthew J. Lombardi, BA in Theology


Associate’s Program

“CDU gave me a chance to study theology online in a way that would be easy for me as a working young adult. CDU gave me a chance to pursue something that has completely set my heart on fire—working with young people to show them the beauty of having a relationship with Jesus. I can’t wait to use the tools that I have gained from CDU to accomplish what Christ is calling me to.”

Mary Kate Budd, AA in Liberal Arts

“I would like you to know how much Dr. Urbanczyk encouragement has meant to me.  I was not sure, being in my mid-50s, if I would do well going  “back to school”.   Besides not knowing if I would do well academically, going to school was going to be a major drain on my family financially.  I took one class [this Sept] semester.  It happened to be Dr. Urbanczyk’s class.  Without knowing it, he gave me the encouragement and confidence I needed.  At the end of [first class], I signed-up for the AA program.” 

–Barbara Anne Reitzig


Continuing Education

“I had a very positive experience with this course and CDU! Just knowing how much I have learned from this course I can see how I look at things differently because of what I know now.”

–Catarina Hernandez

“I have thoroughly enjoyed taking courses over the last two years at CDU. I have learned so much, and I am excited to use this knowledge in my classes.”
–Susan Hodgkiss

“In addition to enjoying learning more about my Faith by taking these courses, I know that I am growing stronger in my Faith and in my relationship with God.”
–Tim Canan

“I am loving this course very much. The CDU independent study courses are a perfect fit! ”

— Kay Vovo

“I find that the classes are challenging not only in the learning aspect but in my self-growth and spiritual life. I just keep looking forward to what else I am going to learn. It’s like every page I read takes me to another level. God is so good to us!”

— Anna Martinez

“Currently, I am a high school Theology teacher. In addition, I am also a columnist for an international website, Catholic Stand.”

Todd Nolan

“I volunteer in my parish, Hungarian Saints in Budapest, as theologian for a youth group.”

Dániel Némethy

“I volunteer and help instruct the RCIA class at my parish. Additionally, I have been teaching workshops occasionally at St. Paul of the Cross retreat center in Pittsburgh.”

Mary French

“I am currently on the editorial team for the CANews (Catholic Asia News), a monthly magazine for the Catholics in Malaysia that was launched in 1972. For the current calendar year, I am the guest editor responsible for developing the themes, sourcing articles, editing, and the distribution of the magazine in Malaysia. My MA (Theology) is the primary reason I am on the editorial team and was chosen to lead the magazine for this year.”

Adrian Marcellus

“I am now co-director of the Focolare Movement North America.”

Paloma Cabetas

“I live our faith in being a witness every day in my school.  As St. Francis said, ‘Preach everywhere.  Talk when needed.’  Many times I have great conversations about our faith with my fellow teachers, but I can only teach my students our faith with how I respond and act.”

Caroline Hemling

“The MA has helped me in my volunteer work at my parish. I’m better equipped to defend the faith as well as to teach it and share with others. I’m a catechist for both the high school and adult confirmation programs. I also work with the Adult Faith Formation program.”

Shelfa Williams

“I use my degree every day in my studies and for personal growth in discipleship. On an ecclesiastical level I teach RCIA in the men’s prison in Gatesville, Texas. I am also in charge of the School of Leaders for the Austin Diocese’ Cursillo Movement. My degree has also served me in my service as Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, and it has broadened my understanding of Sacred Scripture when lectoring at Mass.”

Dennis Alber

“I am a DRE at St. Tobias RC Church in Brockway, Pennsylvania, in the Diocese of Erie. I am a mentor for new religious education leaders. I also work for the diocese as a spiritual and theological director of formation for catechists and those religious ed leaders seeking certification in our Diocesan Certificate Program. I am currently helping the Diocesan Education Office to develop a standard curriculum for sacramental prep in the elementary grades.”

Tara Starr

“I am currently a deacon with the Diocese of Grand Rapids (Michigan).  I have a theology degree (Scripture) from CDU. I am using the degree in my homilies and other diaconal work.  I also assist with the formation of new deacons.”

Jerry Roersma